Parole Rubate (Dec 2013)

Juegos dialògicos del discurso cervantino: la palabra de los clàsicos antiguos

  • Lìa Schwartz

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 8
pp. 33 – 49


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Cervantes' narrative discourse was built according to the new rhetorical practices that developed since the Renaissance. Thus, his work reads as a model of the artistic options that he appropriated in the realms of fiction, drama and satire. In the imitatio of classical genres, Cervantes practices contaminatio with other models typical of his age – from pastoral to the Greek novel, from books of chivalry to Boccaccio's novella. The same method is applied to the construction of each genre's discourse, in which he combines expressions taken from his sources with rhetorical devices of his own creation. This method was learned in school. It included the recopilation of ancient dicta, which students memorized or copied in their codices excerptorii. Future professional writers would have at hand a first repertory of topoi, sententiae, exempla, aphorisms and apothegms, which led authors in the realms of elocutio and inventio. These citations of the antiqui auctores were also important from an ideological point of view, since they transmitted their ideas about the universe, the human body, the spirit or human emotions, which were understood as universals at the time. In this paper are analyzed from this perspective several sections of the Quijote, of the Galatea, of some Exemplary Novel or the Persiles, which also confirm Cervantes's familiarity with the many classical works that he personally read.